We’ve all seen the “Tolak Reklamasi” posters spread throughout Bali’s streets, even though some of them apparently got torn down last weekend for the Bali Democracy Forum, but do you feel confident enough to argue for the cause? What’s got the FORBali movement so up in arms against building a new island in Benoa Bay? Places like Singapore and Abu Dhabi have done it, right?
Here’s a handy cheat sheet you can keep in your back pocket. Some of the points are a bit repetitive, but they go deeper than just saying “it will hurt the environment”. Whip these talking points out at your next beach party.
1. Reclamation will damage the functionality of the area, as well as the conservation value of Benoa Bay. Examples: the bay will lose its function as a flood catchment area and the sacred site Campuhan Agung would be affected.
2. Reclamation means Benoa Bay won’t be able to work as well as a flood reservoir for 5 rivers.
3. Creating a new island would make the area more vulnerable to disasters—think weak subsoil.
4. Adding solid material on top of coral reef habitats would kill and damage surrounding corals and would be detrimental to the local ecosystems.
5. Specifically, mangrove and other sea plants growing in Benoa Bay will be at risk because of changing water conditions.
6. Geological abrasion, aka scratching and scraping off rocks’ surface would pretty much be inevitable with reclamation.
7. Not just Benoa Bay would be vulnerable to natural disaster. Reclamation would also mean negative implications for where land is being taken from the build the new island.
8. Reclamation is a way for investors to get cheap land in strategic areas for tourism. If this is realized, then there’s a spiritual implication: the land becomes less sacred
9. Investors would be the benefactors, not local Balinese.
10. Bali’s already imbalanced of where its development is spread across the island, but adding this many rooms in the south would tip the scale too extremely and could put the area past capacity.
11. Investors often give lip service but do not follow through. Look at Serangan Island reclamation, GWK, Pecatu Graha and BNR for further examples.
12. President SBY reneged on a commitment for the Coral Triangle Initiatives (CTI) to preserve coral reefs. Not cool.
13. What makes Bali’s tourism special is not just its land, it’s the the culture and spirituality that comes with it. Reclaiming Benoa Bay is a cop out.
See the original post in bahasa on ghiboo.com here.
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